ROKAF F-35A Lightning II Performed Nosegear-up Landing at Seosan AB

ROKAF F-35A Lightning II Performed Nosegear-up Landing at Seosan AB
A South Korean fighter pilot, left, stands near F-35 A Stealth in the 71st anniversary of Armed Forces Day at the Air Force Base in Daegu, South Korea Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A South Korean Air Force F-35A Lightning II performed a wheels-up landing on a foam-covered runway at Seosan AB, South Chungcheong Province after a reportedly avionics-related landing gear malfunction.

The Air Force said Tuesday that the landing gear failed to operate due to avionic system issues, forcing the pilot to belly land at an airbase in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, at around 12:50 p.m. earlier that day.

The Air Force promptly covered the runway with special foam, using fire trucks to minimize friction, and both the pilot and fighter jet were intact. The pilot safely exited the plane unscathed. 

According to military sources, there have been no official reports of malfunctioning landing gears for F-35 fighter jets to date.

The Air Force and the manufacturer Lockheed Martin will hold a joint investigation to find the exact cause.

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